Over the last few years, the cost of groceries has risen dramatically. The latest news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that at-home food costs have risen 7.1% over the last 12 months alone. Whether raising a growing family or living on a fixed income, reducing overall food costs is essential to staying within your budget. At RISE Services, Inc. Arizona, we encourage you to try one or more of these eight simple tips to help you save on groceries.
1. Create a Meal Plan
Creating a meal plan and sticking to it is one of the best ways to reduce food expenses. Before you go to the store, make a shopping list based on your weekly meal plan. Make it fun for your kids by allowing them to add one of their favorite meals to the plan and then having them find the needed items at the store.
2. Make Simple Meals
Simple meals are affordable, easy, and quick to make. Think breakfast for dinner, such as scrambled eggs and bacon or pancakes with fruit. There’s also spaghetti night, a favorite for many families, that only requires a box of spaghetti, a jar of pasta sauce, and canned or frozen vegetables or a simple salad. This easy trick stretches your grocery budget and helps you use up leftover produce too.
3. Enjoy Leftovers
If you have leftovers from dinner, pack them in individual serving containers and eat them for lunch the next day. Try adding Leftover Night to your weekly meal plan. Get out all the leftovers from that week and let family members choose whatever they’d like for dinner that night.
4. Shop on a Full Stomach
Going to the store when you’re hungry places you in a vulnerable position where you’re more likely to overbuy and overspend based on your empty stomach rather than your weekly meal plan. If you’re not shopping right after a meal, eat a satisfying snack before heading to the store so you’re not tempted to listen to your growling stomach.
5. Pay with Cash
Bring cash with you to make your grocery store purchase. This requires you to stick to your list and budget rather than relying on a debit card, where it can be tempting to buy a few extra items. Plus, buying with cash will help you prioritize meat, produce, and pantry items over delicious desserts or last-minute purchases.
6. Buy Generic Brands
Whenever possible, choose generic products over name-brand items. It’s OK to purchase a name-brand product, especially if it’s your favorite. Many will only buy a certain brand of individually wrapped cheese slices for their favorite grilled cheese sandwiches, for example. Try switching to a generic item, and if you like it, you can enjoy the savings and delicious food.
7. Try Curbside Pickup
If impulse purchases often tempt you, take advantage of curbside pickup. You can shop online or through the grocery store’s app, compare prices, view weekly ads, and keep your grocery store visit within the allotted budget. Many grocery stores also offer free curbside pickup if you purchase a minimum amount of groceries with each order.
8. Visit Different Grocery Stores
If you have the time, visit a few different grocery stores to save even more on your grocery expenses. Odds are you live close to an affordable nationwide chain like Walmart, Aldi, Costco, Trader Joe’s, or WinCo Foods. Consider viewing the online ads before you venture out to discover the best sale prices at each store.
We Provide Independent Living Services in Arizona
RISE Arizona provides personal budget assistance, grocery shopping, meal planning, and light cooking for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities with our in-home residential and independent living programs. We also offer family support and foster care services. Contact us today to learn more about these programs.
Source: “How to Save Money on Groceries.” Web article. Ramsey Solutions. Lampo Licensing LLC, 03 Feb. 2023. Web. 06 Jun. 2023.